The Winter 2009 issue was published in an atmosphere of heavy student protest at NYU. The issue features photographs contributed by staff of the campus’ Washington Square News, who had been documenting the occupation from the moment Take Back NYU first shouted, “Barricade!” in the campaign to “MAKE NYU AFFORDABLE”—about two years before the larger Occupy Wall Street movement began marching through the city.
Editor-in-Chief W.M. Akers gives his assessment of the events and describes how this semester’s Minetta grew to reflect its atmosphere:
This Minetta was going to be The Robberies Issue, but something exciting happened during production week and, well, you can’t spell lit mag without excitement. A crew of students—NYU and other—entered Kimmel’s Market Place on Wednesday the 18th, and refused to vacate until forcibly ejected. That took forty hours.
Their muddled demands were a tasting menu of the many issues that vex University liberals, ranging from open access to Bobst to thirteen free scholarships for Palestinian students to a reinstatement of the Coke ban. At the core was something most everyone could agree with—NYU’s budget should be public and financial aid should be more generous—but more unifying that their message was a distance for their methods. College Democrats and Republicans both issued official condemnations, and the mood at the rallies held below was skeptical.
After its guards had cleared out the third floor, the administration sent out an email to sum up, placing peculiar emphasis on the lock Take Back NYU boke to get onto the balcony. (Occupation is one thing, but smoking indoors is against the rules.) The email concluded with a pat, “None of the students’ demands was met.” The eighteen students remaining when the barricades were broken down were kicked out of housing and briefly suspended.
The mood on campus during and after the occupation was generally, even among supposed liberals, that the occupiers had made fools of themselves and the school. Well I say fuck that. College is dull enough without demanding rationale, or worse, effectiveness from our radicals. Was it not worth it to give up Kimmel quesadillas for three days in exchange for something actually exciting?
I’ve compiled a few of my favorite photos taken by Washington Square News photographers during the occupation. I intend it as a show of affection of the Kimmel 18 and TBNYU—not because I agree with all of their softheaded demands, but because I love them for having the energy to do something with their time besides study and drink.
Google and Youtube undoubtedly can provide you with footage that captures the Take Back NYU Occupation.
Select writing from this so-called Occupation Issue has been made available here!
“Nana Minces Meat” Isobel Scott
“Eternal Boy Syndrome” Elizabeth Elias
“Viable Subway Practice” Erin Mahon
“Boiling” Katie Vokes
“The Dinner Party” W.M. Akers
“Panopticon Dream” Sarah Goldbaum
“Innocence Lose, Innocence Regained” Carmen Petaccio
“The Moon” Lucas A. Gerber
“Building” W.M. Akers
“Bow in Head” Hillary Juster
“Her Terrorism” Christina Drill”
“An Ode to the Oil Industry” Stephanie Gallagher
“On Speaking in the Past Tense” Cate L. Mahoney
“Objective Correlative” Lucas A. Gerber
“Conversations of Former Lovers” Crissy Gardner
“Grind” Sydney Parker
“Audio Screenplay” Alex Blumberg
“Duprass” Christina Drill
“Savannah” Sida Li
“Route 128” Lucas A. Gerber
“Bartending Paris, 2008” Isobel Scott
“The Stairwell” Derek Simon
“The Fountain Pen” Katie Stallsmith
The Fall 2008 Editorial Board: Winter 2009 edition
Editor-in-Chief: W.M. Akers
Submissions Editor: Katie Stallsmith
Copy Editor: Erin Mahon
Treasurer: Sida Li
Operations Manager: Katie Vokes